The Sub-5 Ride is NOT a race. It is a team/group challenge to complete a distance within pre-determined time goal. Safety should be everyone’s top priority. The following points should serve as a guide to ensure everyone has a safe and successful ride.
- The Sub-5 course comprises three laps of the same course while the recreational ride features a separate course. Each course is clearly marked.
- Keep the speed moderate for the first ten miles. Some of the best endurance athletes can take up to half an hour to warm up. Riding too fast from the start could drop some potentially strong riders from the group, who will be SORELY missed towards the end of the ride.
- Accelerate slowly from stops and turns to make sure those towards the back of the group don’t get dropped. Long pace lines have a lot of inertia, requiring riders further back to accelerate faster than those at the front to prevent gaps from forming.
- Take your turn and share the pull at the front, but don’t get caught up with “Pull Inflation.” Keep the pulls short and don’t be tempted to spend longer at the front just to show you can last longer than the previous person. Conserve some energy so that you can accelerate onto the back of the group when you’ve finished your rotation.
- Don’t forget to eat and drink. This is a necessity to complete a century and avoid the dreaded bonk. Make a point of drinking, and consume the occasional energy bar, Gu sachet or dry trail mix when recovering in the middle of the group.
- Communicate! Let others know how you are doing or if a rider has popped off the back of your group. When you’re ready to peel off the front make a clear hand gesture and don’t drop your speed until clear of the next person behind you.
- Hills are noted for splitting up ride groups. Every rider will find their own rhythm for attacking a hill and there’s little assistance offered by drafting. Take care to ease up and regroup at the top. In the case of gentle inclines, shorten up the rotations and ride to the pace of the slowest rider.
- If you need a longer break between pulls, consider resting longer at the back of the pack. As riders rotate from the front signal for them to rotate back into the group in front of you. Conversely if you’re feeling stronger than others in the group, pull for a longer period, as opposed to increasing the pace to the point of dropping riders.
- Don’t expect the group to compromise its time goal just for you. If you become physically exhausted or feel that you can no longer maintain the group’s pace let others know before dropping off the back.
- If you develop a flat or a minor mechanical issue with your bike the SAG wagon can provide support, but it will be your responsibility to catch up and rejoin your ride group. Whether you are dropped from your ride group due to a flat, fatigue or the ability to maintain the pace, you have the following options.
- Continue to ride at your own pace to the feed zone. If you haven’t lost much time you may be able to rejoin your ride group. You may also elect to retire or wait to join the next ride group.
- If you are caught by the following group, either on the road or at the feed zone, you can decide to complete the ride with them. Note that the new group may be riding a more moderate pace and time goal.
- Irrespective, tell the trailing SAG vehicle what your plan is. If necessary, SAG in!
- Keep the time spent in the “feed zone” to a minimum (2 minutes or less). Unless you need to use the rest room stay with your bike. We suggest carrying two wide-mouthed water bottles; one for water and one for an energy drink. Volunteers will fill your bottles and offer high-calorie snacks from grab baskets while you straddle your bike. If you need to use a rest room someone will be on hand to hold your bike.
- Course marshals will be posted at the busiest intersections of the Sub-5 course. Wherever present the course marshals will provide a clear indication, using handheld “STOP/GO” signs, to let you know when it is safe to enter the intersection. They will NOT have the directive to stop traffic. For those intersections where a course marshal is not provided riders MUST obey all applicable traffic laws.
- STOP at all stop signs. This includes the hand-held signs used by course marshals.
- WAIT until there is sufficient gap in the traffic for the entire group to cross an intersection before proceeding.
- REDUCE speed when approaching left and right turns.
- LEAD RIDER must ensure that entire group yields to traffic before turning left or right
- DO NOT CROSS the center line of the road.
- OBEY the course marshals & ride-group captains.
- RESPECT all volunteers
S. P. A. R.
- SMOOTH – As in ride smoothly, maintain your line, DO NOT accelerate when pulling through, “feather” your brakes to maintain proper gap when drafting.
- PROJECT-As in don’t make sudden moves, make it easy for those behind you to anticipate what you’re going to do
- ANTICIPATE - Look up the road for hazards, anticipate loose gravel at all turns, watch the shoulders of riders that are 2 places ahead of you
- RELAX - Don’t choke the handlebars, keep shoulders relaxed, enjoy the ride, have fun.
- “5” – It should take about a “five count” for you to pull through
More than that … you’re getting tired, sit in to recover
Less than that … you’re going too fast, not maintaining a proper pace
- “2” – After your pull, reduce your pedal stroke by 2 rpms when returning to the back of the pace line.
- “2” – Watch the rider who is at least two positions ahead of you. This is opposed to the rear wheel of the one directly rider in front of you.
- “1” – To receive the maximum benefit from drafting, you should maintain a 1-ft. distance between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the rider ahead of you.